We all feel that we have a purpose in life. As more of us become aware of the harmful effects of global warming, we are also concerned about practical solutions to the problem. Most importantly, how can we fit in as part of the solution instead of the problem?
Unfortunately, many of us become overwhelmed when we look at the ever-increasing natural disasters and it begins to feel as if the world around us is collapsing. I remember seeing the plane hit the World Trade Center again and again. I remember being completely paralyzed for the television. Sleep was optional, but only between the important newsletters. I felt helpless. I wanted to understand the reasoning behind the attacks to alleviate my fear of possible attacks in the future, but I mainly wanted a sense of control in my life.
I do not like to focus on the downfall of global warming because it is not the best mindset for me to find solutions and carry out actions. I truly believe that we can all make a difference in our lives, in our families, friends and community. I also believe that every action taken produces a ripple effect around the world. When we take a simple action, such as changing a light bulb to a compact fluorescent light bulb, a positive motion is set.
Let’s just look at the fun that can happen: (it will show how the action affects others)
o The old light bulb finally goes out. You go to your local hardware store and see miles of shelves light bulbs! OJ! (production of CFL light bulbs)
o Someone comes to help and maybe suggest a CFL. “N what?” you ask. The assistant tells you that although the light bulb is more expensive than a basic tungsten lamp, it will last longer, burn hot, consume less energy, and save you money every month AND prevent the release of more than 450 pounds. emissions from a power station normally used to light old-fashioned light bulbs in the air! (increased sales and more potential advertising of a green product, reduced amount of carbon released into the atmosphere)
o You read the ad and look at the famous EnergyStar sign. So you think, “Why not!” (increased awareness of a wonderful program)
o You go home and your children ask you for the funny light bulb. (teach the children and tell their friends how smart their parents are!)
o Your friends come for dinner and recognize the light bulb, but have never really considered buying one. (increased awareness by word of mouth) [extremely powerful!!!] and more potential sales, advertising, reduced emissions)
o You get the electric bill the next month and see that you really used less electricity and saved some money. ($$$)
o You are going to buy more CFL light bulbs and realize that the prices have dropped a bit due to increased sales! (demand and supply of a product that improves our world)
It’s just to change one light bulb! Only one action can have an impact. Just because we do not always see the immediate results does not mean that they are not there!
So what are the best solutions for global warming? Can we help save the world? Yip. I would first suggest doing what is good for you. The convenience will be different for everyone. For me it can be summed up as: AWARENESS and ACTION
My first exposure to environmental issues occurred when I was working at Home Depot. I watch as a person chains himself to our wooden shelves and the local police wait. His actions, perhaps for some a little extreme, have created awareness for the customers, Home Depot and the media. Many of the same actions eventually changed the way Home Depot bought and sold wood.
For me, my ease was to turn off the lights. The more I learned, the more I did to help the environment. Learning about basic, easy home repairs made a difference and increased my trust as well as the trust of my customers.
Now, years later, I must say that life in Thailand has taught me a lot to save energy, as well as to work together for what you believe in. I saw Thais go to the office and act because the wages were too low. I witnessed the expulsion of a political figure because the Thais felt betrayed.
I have greater respect for Thais and for others I have met from different countries. Their views and actions taught me so much about global warming. I also have a greater appreciation for our ability as Americans to make changes worldwide.
To further answer people’s question – “What are the best solutions for global warming?” My suggestions are easy to make but the most important factor lies in what is comfortable for you. If I come up with something out of the ordinary, then they have to re-think their position. But if it’s as easy as pressing the Enter key, you’ve got my attention now!
Okay. We are much more aware of what is going on. We understand that we have a problem. Now what?
I started with small steps. As I learned more, I found the bigger steps easier than I realized. I discussed my views with others and listened to their ideas.
My friends in Alabama recently installed solar heaters and a tankless water heater. Businesses are seeing the benefits of doing the right thing and increasing their efforts to clean up the environment. People from all walks of life have drawn up petitions calling for a more proactive government. Even the 2008 presidential candidates are listening. Many now take global warming as their main concern.
Do you need ideas to make your creative green juices flow? OK! Here you go! Enjoy it!
o Get the family involved – make it fun and educational.
o Make it a project during your child’s science fair.
o Talk to your friends – they may have unique ideas.
o Add a signature tag to your email. I have a personal account with Yahoo. When I send someone an email, my signature message or a quote is at the bottom of the page. I make the signature once and forget about it. If you see a quote you like or have a message to share with others – sign it!
o Discover what tax incentives or refunds are available to you, ie hybrid incentives for hybrid cars, discounts for toilet replacement, deduct the cost of energy saving appliances and energy refurbishments in your home.
o Support greener businesses. Our money determines what businesses sell. Our support encourages businesses to keep doing the right thing.
o Do you want to invest in the stock market? Which companies go ahead with cleaning? Are you exploring new technology? Do portions of their profits contribute to supporting environmental organizations?
o Stem. Which candidates are fighting for positive changes in the environment? Who seems to be making the main focus on global warming in their campaign? How does the candidate balance global warming and the economy? Does the candidate understand the threat and what solutions does he or she offer?
o Join others online and become part of something bigger. In the past, petitions went from house to house or stood near the entrance of the mall. Thanks to the internet, a letter to Congress has never been so easy or more effective! Read the already prepared letter. If you agree, type your name and press ENTER!
o Submit your ideas on websites. I would love input from you! Your ideas may just be what someone else needed! Many websites will also benefit your mind and appreciate the communication!
o Start a discussion group in your community. Barnes and Noble or Borders are excellent meeting places. It’s a great way to meet others and reject ideas.
o Help to improve your environment. In Tampa, there is an amazing community group with a project lottery. Each participant chooses a project that they must complete in their home. Every month a name is drawn. The neighbors spend one weekend on the project. The happy owner provides drinks and snacks to the neighbors who volunteer.
o Create your own website! Everyone has a voice. Today, websites are effective communicators and very inexpensive. Get the kids or the community involved.